Tag: cold weather

Advantages of Buying a Home During the Wintertime

real estate, home sale, buying home, new home, housing

 (Reuters)

Spring and summer are popular times to look for a new home, but house hunters willing to brave the cold might be rewarded with a great deal. Although you’ll have fewer houses to choose from, there are also fewer buyers to contend with.

“You can leverage colder weather to your advantage because you’re a rarity — there’s less competition and buyers, which gives you negotiating power and puts you in the driver’s seat,” says Cara Ameer, broker associate and Realtor at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. “A seller knows that someone who drives through the snow and cold weather to see their house is a pretty serious buyer.”

You may benefit from a discount too as sellers are eager to unload their homes. “Homebuyers can take their time when they’re looking for a home because there’s less people in the market and there aren’t as many bidding wars,” says Lisa Foradori, Head of Consumer Direct for Mortgage Originations at Chase.

If you need a mortgage, while rates are expected to increase eventually, they’re still low from a historical perspective. “It’s going to remain a good time to buy for a while,” says Foradori. “Getting in now as rates start to pick up, with rates where they are, makes the winter look attractive too.”

As you decide whether to hunt for houses during the cold winter months, experts provide advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Fewer Bidding Wars

Fewer buyers frequent open houses during the winter as compared to the spring, when there’s more inventory. The benefit is that you’ll have some breathing room — hot markets known for bidding wars and multiple offers tend to cool down in the colder months. “It saves buyers money and their sanity,” says Mazen Fawaz, CEO of OpenHouse.

Less Housing Supply

“The selection of houses may be less because of lower inventory versus what’s going to come on the market during the spring, but there will also be more competition in the spring,” says Ameer. The weather can make getting a home ready for showings cumbersome for a homeowner. “Sellers may have to shovel snow,” she suggests, “and people would rather wait until the holidays are over and they can take their lights and decorations down.”

Motivated Sellers

Time is money for a seller, and those sellers that open their doors to showings during the holiday season and cold-weather months want their homes to sell. “A seller probably doesn’t want to sit with the house through the winter months, particularly if they don’t live there anymore and have to make sure the home’s being maintained and safe,” says Ameer. A buyer may very well benefit from a lower price because the seller doesn’t want to continue paying for the expense of the house and would like to get it off their plate.

Quicker Mortgage Closings

“Lenders have less inventory in the winter because there are less people buying and selling and we can move the loan through the process faster,” says Foradori.

Cold Weather Tips for your Family and Home

It may be fall, but these cold days and freezing nights can be hard on your house and family. Below are some tips to keep you, your pet(s) and your house warm and safe now and throughout the winter season.

– Replace your furnace filters. Clean furnace filters will improve air flow and efficiency and lower your utility costs.

 Place a mat or rug and boot trays next to entries. This will help keep hardwood floors and carpets from becoming damaged from the winter snow, mud and salt.

Inspect your fireplace. Have the fireplace chimney and flue inspected each year by a professional and cleaned if needed.

Use pet friendly salt. Whether you have a pet or your neighbors do, pet safe ice melt is best to keep all safe (regular salt burns their paw pads).

Dog boots. Just as these cold temps are tough on us, they are tough on animals. When outside (briefly and quickly), your dog should be wearing boots to prevent frostbite. Pawz dog boots work great. 

Pets are to be safe and warm inside – and away from the garage. Avoid antifreeze poisoning. Antifreeze is a deadly poison. It has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and people.

– Winterize. Make sure to winterize your home, if it will be vacant, to prevent damage.